On the 18th December, 1892 at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, The Nutcracker was first introduced to the world. Now, almost 125 years since that opening night and from the very same hall, the Mariinsky's current Artistic Director, Valery Gergiev, reveals a perfectly judged interpretation of Tchaikovsky's ballet masterpiece. Tchaikovsky was a pioneer, his music a new style that combined developments of the Western European musical tradition while remaining distinctively Russian. From an early age he had relished stage works involving magic or fantasy such as Weber's Der Freischütz and Mozart's Don Giovanni, and after seeing Adolphe Adam's Giselle he became a ballet devotee.
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